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I pre-ordered Fallout: New Vegas from GameStop and got the Classic Pack DLC as a "reward." I own a 360 Arcade and don't have an Xbox Live account. My girlfriend owns a 360 Elite and has a silver Live account.

Since I don't have Live, my girlfriend downloaded the Classic Pack to the Arcade. I started two games with Classic Pack items and they worked fine for a while. As far as I know, anyone can use DLC on the machine it's downloaded to first (in this case, the Arcade); only the downloader can use it on other machines (in this case, the Elite). Unfortunately, the Arcade red-ringed today; more specifically, it gave me the E74 error. (Details: go to the Xbox support website, click "one flashing light" and "error code E74.")

I figured, okay, no problem, I'll send the Arcade in for service — it's still covered by the E74 extended warranty — and use the Elite for now. But when I tried to load the game, I saw

"Some of your downloadable content is corrupt and could not be loaded."

And that's the story of how I found out that licenses are tied to specific consoles, not just Live accounts or hard drives. (Ref: Microsoft license transfer FAQ)

Now, I could just load my game and go, but I'm afraid of losing my items permanently because of the last issue I had. I could also use up the annual license transfer to move everything to the Elite, but that could have unintended consequences for other savegames; if not mine, then my girlfriend's. I'm also not even sure that will work; would the Elite become the new "first" machine, where anyone can use DLC? Or would there be no more "first" machine?

In short: is there anything I can do to play F:NV for the next three weeks that doesn't involve losing my Classic Pack items?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

So here are the rules for DLC:

  • Anyone can play DLC on the Console on which it was purchased
  • The person who purchased the DLC can play it on any console

Now it seems like you already knew this part. However, there is a third rule!

  • Once per year you can move all your DLC to a new xbox! It is now considered to have been purchased on that xbox.

Using this magical third rule you (or your girlfriend) can recall all your DLC to a new box and anyone can play it on that box. It would become the "First" xbox in your example. This should not affect any saves on that box.

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thanks! I didn't mention the third rule, but I did see it on the license transfer FAQ I linked. But as you say, it's only a once-a-year deal. The problem is that I don't want to be stuck using the Elite in three weeks when the repaired Arcade comes back from MS. Would this fall under the repair exemption? (Third item in this FAQ) +1 for your second-to-last sentence alone, though. –  Pops Oct 26 '10 at 21:05
    
@Torgamus possibly, you'd have to phone MS to be sure. You can, however, always re-download to the arcade if only your account is going to use it on that system –  tzenes Oct 27 '10 at 0:59
    
just for closure purposes: called Microsoft and got a long answer from the support guy. I asked him if his answer boiled down to "yes, but not really" and he said it did. So, no real answer there. –  Pops Oct 28 '10 at 0:19
    
:( @Torgamus. I just reread your answer, and you said you don't have an account? Are you aware that a Silver, Xbox Live account is Free? That you can use said free account for purchasing DLC and the like? –  tzenes Oct 28 '10 at 15:47
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